Tennessee Inmate Escapes From Jail On Fourth Of July, Returns On His Own A Few Hours Later

Police lights flash on top of a cruiser.
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Steven Ray Hamm apparently had his own Independence Day celebration in mind.

The Tennessee inmate managed to escape from the Humphreys County Jail at 8 p.m. on the Fourth of July, taking off just as Americans across the time zone were preparing to celebrate with fireworks.

As the New York Post noted, what happened next was even more surprising. After being on the lam for just a few hours, Hamm showed up back at the jail to return to his cell.

“The sheriff’s office said that Hamm returned to the jail at 3 a.m. — about seven hours after he fled the facility,” the report noted.

The report noted that it was not clear how Hamm escaped custody or what prompted him to come back, and it wasn’t reported exactly what he did during his brief stint of freedom. He had been jailed on theft of property, burglary of a motor vehicle, and failure to pay child support.

This was actually not the first time that an inmate has had a change of heart after escaping from jail. As the New York Post reported last year, a Texas inmate named Joshua Hansen managed a brief escape from the grounds of a federal prison — and returned with a stash of booze, tobacco, and a load of home-cooked food.

The 25-year-old was arrested by U.S. Marshals after deputies were alerted to inmates who were escaping from the rear of the prison facility and crossed a road onto private land owned by a rancher. Police found that the inmates were picking up shipments of contraband that were left for them by sympathetic friends and family, and set out to hatch a plan to catch them in the act.

Police set up surveillance and caught Hansen sprinting out of the prison complex and grabbing a bag that someone had left. As he returned to the prison, authorities caught and arrested Hansen.

As the report noted, Hansen’s short time outside the prison netted him quite a haul.

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“Inside the bag was a veritable trove of goodies, including three bottles of brandy, a bottle of whiskey, dozens of packages of tobacco, packaged snacks, fruit and a large amount of home-cooked food, including sausages, chicken, rice and vegetables, according to photographs released by sheriff’s officials,” the report noted.

In Tennessee, Steven Ray Hamm will now face additional charges for his jail break, but police did not yet say exactly what time he could be facing.